Tennis: Tom Carney delivers sectional title for Joliet West Co-opJoliet West's Tom Carney 1st place singles. Watching in the back ground Coach Kit Gillman and the team came in 1st in the Tennis Sectional held at Joliet West on Saturday, May 19, 2012. | Larry Kane~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 19, 2012 6:43PM
A steamy day of red-hot tennis at the Joliet West courts came down to two outstanding freshmen.
Joliet West Co-op’s Tom Carney completed a whirlwind Saturday with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 victory over Lemont’s top-seeded Nick Urban in the singles final to give the Tigers their second straight sectional title.
West also sported the doubles champion in senior Collin Shea and junior Jack Carney, the No. 1 seed who beat Lemont’s Jonathan Pacheco-Alex Vasic 6-3, 6-2 in the final.
By winning singles and doubles, the Tigers finished with 26 points to 24 for runner-up Lemont. Joliet Catholic was third with 16, followed by Providence and Lockport with 12 each. Romeoville and Bolingbrook scored 4 and Lincoln-Way West 2.
“I kept telling myself it was for the team,” Tom Carney said of beating Urban. “At the same time, it was for myself.”
Momentum seemed to be on Urban’s side when he won the second set, but advice from older brother Jack, whose doubles final had long since finished, may have made the difference for Carney.
“He told me to take it to his forehand,” he said. “That’s what I did. I was able to fight through it.”
“There was a lot of pressure on Tom to win, especially since he had lost to Urban earlier on a third-set tiebreaker,” West coach Kit Gillman said.
Jack Carney, who won the last two sectional singles titles, said, “Collin (Shea) and I can play better than we did. But this showed we can win even if we aren’t on top of our game.”
The top four singles finishers and top four doubles tandems advance to next weekend’s state meet at Arlington Heights and other northwest suburbs. Lockport junior Lucas Randall beat Providence junior James Zeeman 6-2, 6-0 for third place in singles.
In doubles, it was an all-Joliet Catholic third-place match-up with the Hilltoppers’ No. 1 team of seniors Ian Barr and Austin Naal taking down junior Zach Siegfried and sophomore Nate Naal 6-3, 6-3 in a repeat of last year’s sectional championship match.
This will be the fourth trip to state as partners for Barr and Austin Naal.
“That was our main goal, to get to state one more time,” Barr said. “We were hoping we could play them (Shea and Jack Carney) in the finals, but it didn’t work that way.”
Instead, they met in the semifinals, with Shea and Carney winning 6-3, 6-3.
Pacheco and Vasic got past Siegfried and Nate Naal 6-2, 7-5 in their semifinal.
Tom Carney rallied from a 5-2 hole in the second set to beat Zeeman 6-2, 7-5 and Urban beat Randall 6-2, 6-1 in singles semifinals.